CNOSF President Brigitte Henriques has been forced to delay her journey to Beijing for the Winter Olympic Games following a positive COVID-19 test ©CNOSF

French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) President Brigitte Henriques and Beijing 2022 Chef de Mission Nathalie Péchalat will miss the start of the Winter Olympics here following positive COVID-19 tests.

The CNOSF confirmed the two officials tested positive for the virus prior to their departure to the Chinese capital city.

"Respecting the health protocols applicable in France and within the framework of these Games, they will remotely support the French athletes and the management present in China," a CNOSF statement read.

"They plan to go to Beijing when their situation allows it.

"Didier Seminet, secretary general of the CNOSF, will represent the CNOSF on site.

"The activity of Head of Mission is carried out, on an interim basis, by André-Pierre Goubert, director of the Olympic and high-level sport division of the CNOSF"”

Beijing 2022 represents the first Winter Olympics held during Henriques’ leadership of the CNOSF, with the French Football Federation vice-president having become the first woman to securing the Presidency last year.

Péchalat, the French Ice Sports Federation (FFSG) President, was named as the country’s Chef de Mission in October.

Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet is another leading French sporting official who has been unable to fly to Beijing, after his positive COVID-19 test was confirmed earlier this week.

France's Chef de Mission Nathalie Péchalat also tested positive prior to departure and has not travelled to the Chinese capital ©Getty Images
France's Chef de Mission Nathalie Péchalat also tested positive prior to departure and has not travelled to the Chinese capital ©Getty Images

The CNOSF has revealed that two members of their short track speed skating delegation had also recorded positive tests following their arrival in the Chinese capital.

Short track skater Astien Lepape recorded a positive test on arrival on January 27, but has since returned negative tests.

Lepape has been able to travel to training in dedicated transport, the CNOSF said.

Short track speed skating coach Annie Sarrat had recorded positive tests on the first three days after arriving, which led to her being isolated.

Sarrat has since been cleared to return to her hotel following negative tests.

Seven members of the French delegation have been identified as close contact cases.

They are required to comply with a series of additional measures, including quarantining in single rooms and using dedicated transport between venues.

Close contact cases will also have Polymerase chain reaction - PCR - tests every 12 hours over seven consecutive days and undertake a test six hours prior to competition.

France are set to be represented by a team of 86 athletes at the Games, comprised of 50 men and 36 women.